More than 100 US and Canadian men and women who immigrated to Israel on Monday are heading into the IDF to do their national service.
The 108 soldiers-to-be, aged 18-23, arrive on a Nefesh B’Nefesh “Soldiers Flight” to Ben Gurion Airport, which also carries another 230 North Americans who made aliyah.
Each new arrival are presented with a personalized certificate informing them that the Jewish National Fund will plant a tree in their honor as part of campaign to encourage development in southern Israel.
President Reuven Rivlin waits in the arrivals hall at the airport to greet the state’s fresh citizens, along with other dignitaries including Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky.
“It is heartwarming to see young men and women, who despite these challenging times, are leaving their comfortable lives in the Diaspora to make aliyah and serve and defend the State of Israel,” says Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver.
In total, there are 37 families on the flight that count among their numbers five doctors and dentists, two nurses and a pilot. Dozens of the immigrants will go to live in periphery communities in the north and south, Nefesh B’Nefesh says in a statement.
— Stuart Winer